The Coffee House on Bourbon Street

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Chapter 15 Don't Be Sad

I had spent the final few hours in Paris on the couch and Jess drove me to the airport. Thomas had to work, saying goodbye with a letter and a mountain of pancakes drowning in syrup.

At the airport, Jess parked her car and walked all the way up to security with me. She looked like she was going to cry. I smiled at her and said, “Don’t be sad. I’ll see you really soon. I promise. I am just a two-hour plane ride away. You are always happy to stay at the apartment. I’ll make weed brownies and we can gossip about the assholes at uni.”

Jess gave me a tear-soaked smile. I blinked. The burning behind my eyes was definitely there and not leaving any time soon. I smiled back at her and engulfed her in a bear hug.

“I have to go,” I said, without letting go.

“I know. Bye. Text when you get home,” she said.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” I tell her smiling.

“Bye.” She said, rolling her eyes.

I laughed. “Bye.”

The plane ride had been uneventful and when I finally made it home, the button on my answering machine was blinking red.

I pushed the button. A feminine voice started speaking. “Hallo, hier ist Charlotte DuBois. Ich habe deinen Flyer in Cafee gesehen und dachte da ruf ich mal an. Meine Nummer ist 0175-778-667-98. Tschüs und hoffentlich bis bald.”

(Hello, this is Charlotte DuBois. I saw your flyer in the caffee and I thought I'd give you a ring. My number is 0175-778-667-98. Bye and I hope I'll hear from you soon.)

She sounded sweet so I replayed the message while writing down her phone number. I called her back while looking at what I had for food left in the fridge. There was some green pesto and some salad hidden in the back.

Someone picked up on the other end of the phone call.

“Hallo?” (Hello?)

“Hi Charlotte, du hattest bei mir angerufen wegen der Wohnung. Ist das noch aktuelle?” I said.

(Hi Charlotte, you had called me for the apartment listing. Do you still want it?)

“Oh hi, ja. So bald wie möglich währe toll. Ich muss umbedingt umziehen. Ich krieg die Krise wenn ich noch einen Tag mit meinem scheiß Bruder zusammen leben muss,” she said with laughter and annnoyance clear in her voice.

(Oh, hi, yes. As soon as possible. I really need to move out. I'm going to lose my mind if I have to live one more day with my shitty brother.)

“Okay. Hättest du jetzt Zeit dich bei Zeit für Brot zu treffen, oder ist das zu spontan,” I asked, smiling. She sounded really nice.

(Alright. Do you have time to meet at Time for Bread now, or is that to last minute?)

“Ja klar, total gerne. Sagen wir so in einer Stunde?” She asked.

(Yeah sure. Let's say in about an hour?)

“Gerne,” I said with a laugh.


“Ich bin die mit dem großen Sonnenhut und dem roten Lippenstift,” she answered to that.

(I'll be the one wearing a huge sun hat and red lipstick.)

“Gut, bis in einer Stunde dann,” and with that, I hung up and got into the shower.

(Alright. See you in an hour.)

I pulled the dress over my head and slipped on my lace-up sandals, walked through my kitchen grabbing my wallet and my keys and closed the door behind me on my way out.

Pushing open the door to Zeit für Brot, I looked around for Charlotte. There she sat, across from the coffee machine, wearing as she had told me red lipstick and an abnormally large sun hat. I smiled and started to walk towards her.

“Hi, ich bin Elizabeth. Du must Charlotte sein?” I said.

(Hi, I am Elizabeth. You must be Charlotte?)

“Ja. Hey, echt nett dich kennenzulernen. Du kannst mich Lotte nennen,” she said with a strong handshake and a sunny smile.

(Yes. Hi, it's plesure to meet you. You can call me Lotte.)

“Gut, Lotte dann halt. Ich hole mir dann mal eine Tasse Kaffee, willst du noch etwas?” I asked.

(Right, Lotte it is. I'll grab a cup of coffee, do you want something?)

“Neh danke. Ich hab noch,” she said, pointing to her coffee mug her smile still remaining.

(No thanks. I'm all set.)

I walked towards the counter and ordered. After five minutes I took my coffee and walked back to Lotte.

“Also, du willst aus der Wohnung mit deinem Bruder raus?” I said. “Gibt es da einen bestimmten Grund, wenn ich fragen darf?”

(So, you want to move out of the apartment with your brother? Is there a specific reason as to why, if I may ask?)

She took and sip of her coffee and grinned. “Er hat jeden Abend eine andere und die Wände sind sowas von dünn. Ich bekomme wirklich alles mit und ich bin es satt immer spät nach Hause kommen zu müssen,” she said.

(He has a different girl there every evening and the walls are so fucking thin. I hear everything adn I am sick adn tired of staying out late just to avoid what's going on.)

I laughed. Lotte seemed genuinely nice.

“Hast du irgendwelche Macken von denen ich wissen sollte?” I asked.

(Do you have any weird habits that I should be aware of?)

“Eigentlich nicht. Ich esse total gerne, wenn das zählt?” She answered with a laugh.

(Not really. I love to eat, if that counts?)

“Na dann, die Miete ist 350 Euro im Monat und du kannst einziehen wann immer du willst,” I said with a smile.

(Alright, the rent is 350 a month adn you can move in whenever you'd like.)

“Geil. Wie ist es mit Mittwoch?” She asked.

(Great. How does Wednesday sound?)

“Passt. Die Wohnung ist hier gleich um die Ecke. Drei Straßen weiter Richtung Thai Park, da wo der Barber Shop ist,” I answered.

(Wednesday works. The apartment is right around the corner. Three streets down in the direction of the thai park, on the corner of the barber shop.)

She finished her coffee. “Ich muss leider los. Dann bis Mittwoch, ich bring dann auch die Miete für den ersten Monat mit,” she said. And out the door she went.

(I'm sorry but I have to go. I'll see you Wednesday, I'll be bringing the rent for the first month.)

I leaned back and took another sip of my coffee. I really hope I am doing the right thing, I thought to myself sitting in the coffee shop on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Finishing my coffee, I start to make my way back to the apartment, I had a lot of studying to do.

Monday morning came in a flurry stubbed toes and fucks screamed across the quiet kitchen. I sat in the lecture hall, absolutely hating every minute. Why did I bother with the damn degree in history if I had lived through the damn thing? I must have asked myself that question five hundred times that morning. I rode my bike back to the apartment and decided that going out in the evening to somehow save this godforsaken day, was an effort that I was too tired to make. So I ended up going to Museum’s Island and spent the rest of the day sitting across from the Sbahn Station Hackischermarkt dangling my feet above the Spree, with a bottle of lemonade in my left hand and a book in the other. The sun went down leaving behind red clouds in the sky and laughter around me.

In the middle of the night, the ringing from my phone woke me up. With squinting eyes, I tried to see who is calling. An unknown number keeps flashing up, again and again. I let it ring. Whoever is calling this late is probably trying to reach someone else. Not five minutes later there is a banging on my front door. I put on some shorts and turn on the lights, grabbing a knife on my way past the kitchen. I creep towards the front door and look through the hole.

Well fuck, they found me.
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